The BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels is one of the most renowned cultural venues in Europe. But how can such a space become a venue for young people, in conjunction with artists, to express how they feel about politics and society through different media?
This is exactly what happened when BOZAR hosted ai???Next Generation, Please: Fresh Ideas for Europeai??? from the 18th ai??i?? 29 acquire doxycycline, acquire zithromax. th May, envisioned as a youth-led version of the Imagine Europe project. Last year, groups of students from schools across Belgium contacted artists they were interested in working with, and over the course of the school year these artist-student teams produced films, performances, installations, sculptures and short stories with the aim of creating new narratives for Europe. The themes the artists and students focused on in order to create these new stories included migration, identity and open borders. The recent exhibition at BOZAR was the culmination of their work.
YO!Mag took a trip to the exhibit to see the different groupsai??i?? art and to speak to Next Generation, Please intern and project co-ordinator Gilles Deridder, who was able to give us some insight into the working processes of the project. As Deridder pointed out, as well as creating art, the process afforded multiple opportunities for the young participants to engage politically ai??i?? including debates on the major themes in the gallery, and chances to interact with politicians and express their views to them directly.
However, this is not to minimise the importance of art as a medium of political expression for the participants. Deridder believes that for many of the students, ai???art was really a new way to express themselves, to go deep, to show what they meant for the first time ai??i?? for many it was a revelation.ai???
Indeed, looking around the exhibition space (check out all the pictures YO!Mag took of the exhibition on our Facebook album here), itai??i??s obvious that the expression is sincere and passionate. Whatai??i??s more, the variety of styles and forms that that expression manifests in is testament to the innovation of youth. Deridder told YO!Mag: ai???The diversity we see around us is a reflection of the diversity of opinion.ai???
Unfortunately, in the age of austerity, young people are often among the first groups to suffer discriminatory budget cuts, resulting in their social exclusion. Similarly, funding for the arts can often be one of the first budget items to receive cuts, resulting in buy Intagra, Zoloft withoutprescription. a negative impact on the arts in Europe. When we asked Deridder if this shared reality of cuts and exclusion at the hands of financial policy can result in a solidarity between the arts and youth in projects such as this, he expanded on this point from his personal experience of seeing students and artists interact to create meaningful work: ai???Often young people feel more comfortable talking to artists about Europe than directly to politiciansai??i??. The artists in this project were really good at drawing out the opinions of young people and helping them to share it with the worldai??i?? I often think that artists and young people are kindred spirits.ai???
Itai??i??s true that the range of projects pursued by the student/artist teams give unique perspectives on some of the issues which affect Europe today. For example, artists Thomas Nolf and Benjamin Pattin travelled with a small group of students to Croatia to investigate the destruction of the Petrova Gora monument, which had originally been erected to mark resistance to fascism. They discovered that the monument was being stripped for metals to sell, and found nearby materials to renovate it. But the video documentation they made of their time there uncovers some of the underlying socio-economic reasons for the destruction of the monument ai??i?? including youth unemployment, which has forced many young people to leave the area. As one local resident said on tape, ai???if there are no young people, there is no solution.ai???
Another interesting project involved the Petit Chateau refugee centre. Photographer Vincent Beeckman gave cameras to young refugees in the centre, asking them to document their lives through the medium of photography. Those photographs were then collected in a magazine which, even though it contains no textual explanation, offers a powerful insight into the young peopleai??i??s lives. This project, importantly, integrated youth groups that are outside of mainstream systems.
We can see a similar willingness to question the norm in the Mestizo Arts Platformai??i??s challenging of the ai???laws of the street.ai??? This project questioned the status quo conceptually and also in its format, through live graffiti, slam poetry and a performance at the opening of the exhibition. As Deridder told YO!Mag, this particular project sought not only to challenge the spoken and unspoken laws of the street, but also the prestigious space of BOZAR itself.
Indeed, viewed together, the 12 separate projects which make up ai???Next Generation, Pleaseai??? offer an exciting challenge to contemporary Europe from its young people. The exhibition proves that young people have nuanced and urgent things to say about the problems in Europe that affect everyone. Our continued exclusion from the public sphere amounts to the squandering of a resource which Europe cannot afford to waste. Malegra no rx, acquire lioresal.